Experts Reveal Efficiency Secrets: Unmasking Hidden Behaviours Impacting Business Productivity

Treating people and their behaviours as data points is essential for creating systems that cater to the diverse needs of employees. It enables organisations to identify work patterns, preferences, and challenges, fostering a more adaptable and efficient work environment. This data-driven approach ensures that systems are designed to enhance overall productivity. 

Bespoke software development experts, Codiance, have provided some insights into the importance of looking at behaviour and people as a data point and the five most significant behaviours businesses often miss that can affect efficiency. 

Collaboration plays a crucial role in developing systems tailored to your company’s needs and enhancing efficiency. Mark Hesketh, MD at Codiance, states, “Involving end-users in the development process of a new system is crucial at every step. This approach not only guarantees that the solution is perfectly tailored to meet its intended purpose in the real world, but it also instills a profound sense of ownership among those involved. Such ownership is not just beneficial; it’s decisive. It can be the difference between the success and failure of any new system.”

5 biggest behaviours that are often missed yet impact business efficiency patterns

1. Adapting systems to people and embracing informal solutions

Systems ought to be designed around the behaviours of those who use them, not the reverse. Frequently, individuals devise their own “workarounds” or “hacks” to navigate through tasks or bypass system limitations – innovations that often go undocumented. It is only through observing individuals in action, through shadowing, that these ingenious solutions come to light. Acknowledging and understanding these informal practices is key to tailoring systems that truly resonate with and support the needs of their users.

2. Collaborative interactions

Traditional process and system maps often illustrate the transfer of roles or responsibilities but fall short in depicting the dynamic interactions and collaboration between individuals and teams. They overlook the essence of communication. How is information exchanged? Is information exchanged frequently and in different ways? Do inquiries deepen, and if so, how extensively? A profound understanding of these collaborative behaviours is crucial. It’s only with this insight that one can truly optimise both systems and processes, paving the way for more efficient and effective teamwork.

3. Embracing unofficial innovations

We often encounter people who have crafted their own solutions, such as custom spreadsheets or specific websites, that serve as indispensable time-saving tools. These innovations typically emerge in response to a lack of suitable alternatives, the inefficiency of existing tools, or the absence of crucial features. Often, these creative shortcuts remain under the radar, concealed from the broader organisation due to concerns over official approval. Diligent shadowing is crucial in bringing these invaluable yet unofficial practices to light, revealing a wealth of untapped efficiency and ingenuity within our processes.

4. Optimising workload management through shadowing

Shadowing provides a transparent view into how individuals handle tasks throughout various stages of a process. This observation often uncovers both highly effective and markedly less successful task management practices. It’s essential to document these findings in any process map, as they offer a treasure trove of insights. By identifying the most efficient techniques, we can develop them into scalable tools that enhance productivity. Simultaneously, we can offer targeted support to those grappling with workload management, leveraging automation as a lifeline to streamline their processes and improve efficiency.

5. Valuing human experience: elevating morale through automation

At times, automating certain tasks may seem to yield a modest return on investment (ROI) when compared directly to their manual counterparts, leading to their potential deprioritisation. However, it’s crucial to recognise that many tasks deemed low value can be stressful, monotonous, exhausting, or simply dull. While automating these tasks might not deliver the highest financial returns, the impact on enhancing an employee’s daily experience is immeasurable. Removing such burdens can significantly boost job satisfaction, morale, and engagement, fostering a vibrant, more energised workforce. This approach underscores the importance of prioritising human and cognitive factors in decision-making, recognising that the true value of automation extends far beyond mere numbers.

“It’s impossible to document every step of a process, particularly the time and movement of people. What on paper may look like a 2-minute phone call is a walk across the office, two conversations with colleagues, and the jotting down of important information on paper. Only by shadowing people and their behaviours do you understand how a process is executed.”